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Local history

Looking back on the impacts of ‘superstorm’ Sandy: local photos and video of historic storm

A photo and video retrospective on 'superstorm' Sandy's local impacts when it barreled into New York as a post-tropical cyclone on Oct. 29, 2012.

Riverhead commemorates Bell Town Heritage Area in Aquebogue, founded by the grandsons of slaves during the Great Migration of 1930s

The Rev. Mary Cooper at a ceremony Saturday marking the dedication of Riverhead's first heritage area, Bell Town, a community founded by Cooper's father Mansfield Bell and his three brothers, grandsons of slaves who migrated from Powhatan County, Virginia during the Great Migration in the 1930s, a historical period marking the movement of approximately 6 million Black Americans away from the Jim Crow South to escape racial discrimination, violence, segregation and poor economic conditions.

There’s local history in that attic: Town historian expands collection with ‘donation day’

On "donation day" Saturday morning, residents brought the town historian a varied collection of "stuff" saved from the trash bin— everything from dozens of hand-written letters dating back to the 1850s, written to one of Riverhead's most prominent citizens, to pictures and memorabilia from Riverhead High School in the 1940s and a photo of West Main Street after the 1938 hurricane struck.

This little building offers a peek into Riverhead history — and much, much more

The iconic carriage house (circa 1873) stands on what was once the homestead of the John R. Perkins family. Known as the Yellow Barn, it houses a used bookstore operated by Friends of the Riverhead Free Library.

Riverhead Water District employee has a heart for the ‘Tin Man’

Riverhead native Nick May always admired the iconic 'Tin Man' water tower — the water district's original storage tank. He's restored its commemorative plaque, marking the occasion of its completion in 1915.

Our dry little town

When Prohibition took effect this week in 1920, Riverhead (pop. 5,753) was ahead of the curve. Home to the first Suffolk chapter of the Woman's Christian Temperance Union, established in 1878, Riverhead was already — sort of — dry.

Thanks to volunteer gardeners, an eyesore courtyard is transformed

Master Gardener Volunteers transformed a desolate, neglected courtyard where the county gallows once stood into a tranquil place of beauty.

Local History: The Riverhead Elks Lodge has an interesting if little-known past

The Riverhead Elks Lodge was built as the clubhouse at Riverhead's first golf course.

A ‘redistribution of happiness’ — from California to Riverhead, a century-old postcard arrives at town hall

A postcard mailed in Riverhead in 1908 found its way to Riverhead Town Hall, by way of California, where an elderly man who makes a hobby out of sending old postcards 'home' hopes to 'redistribute' happiness.

Suffolk Closeup A walk through Suffolk’s history with county historian Peter Fox Cohalan

county began as the East Riding of Yorkshire and, he said, “from there morphed into” Suffolk County in 1683, one of the 12 original counties in the Province of New York, and even after independence and the province becoming a state, Suffolk was “the only county never to be subdivided.”